Rapide Lebel is going to give his rivals a hard time this spring in Scandinavia. His comeback this Saturday in the Prix De L’union Européenne was breath-taking. He really is in a class of his own !
Rapide Lebel hadn’t raced since the Breeders Crown in Woodbine in the end of October, when he finished second behind San Pail. After a four-month break, he was finally back to please all trotting enthusiasts. His main rival,Commander Crowe made a winning comeback in Kuurne last week, but this time he galloped from the start and was disqualified. This made the race even easier for the champion Rapide Lebel. The gelding took a great start and very quickly he was 50-100 meters in front of the rest of the field. The time for the first 2000 meters was a very impressive 1’11’6. Rapide Lebel already looked unbeatable, he trotted easily and he is very tough. When they came around the last turn, the public applauded and Eric Raffin raised his hand to acknowledge the fans. Rodrigo Jet sprinted well to second place and Perlando was a good third but they were over 50 meters behind the winner.
This was Rapide‘s second victory in the Prix De L’union Européenne and he set a new record for the race : 1’12’8.
The task was too difficult this time for Timoko in the Prix De Sélection, in which he was attempting to defend his title. The last horse to win this race twice was Mon Tourbillon in 1983 and 1984. Richard Westerink‘s champion had a 50 meter handicap as the 5 year-old « T » generation, had to race over 2750 meters and the 4 year old had « only » 2700 meters to cover. Back after a break since his 5th place in, the Prix D’Amérique, Timoko was the only 5 year-old to take up the challenge. Unique Quick was good from start and took the lead. Timoko caught up with his younger rivals very fast but couldn’t get the lead from Unique Quick, the winner of the Critérium Des 3 ans. Unique Quick and Franck Leblanc stayed in the lead and won the last group 1 of the winter-meeting in 1’13’3 over 2700 meters. He was actually never threatened. Uniclove and Thierry Duvaldestin finished well and took the second place. Timoko had to settle to third place, his time was 1’12’3 over the 2750 meters.
Timoko and Rapide Lebel could line up in a mouth-watering clash in Elitloppet in May.